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3 “Strong Buy” Value Stocks Gearing up for Gains

Investors are always ready to buy into a good value, and in today’s markets – with their combination of bear cycle and bull rally – those value stocks are more appealing than ever.

Using TipRanks’ database, which features extensive market data collated in real time, we’ve pulled up the details on three great stock market values. All three of these stocks offer investors a solid package: a one-year upside potential of at least 10%, a dividend over 2%, and a history of long-term share appreciation. 

While all three are down in the current market cycle, Wall Street’s analyst corps sees each of them as a Strong Buy. Even the economic shutdowns, which forced so many companies into losses for Q1, couldn’t derail these three – each showed profits in the quarter, and beat the earnings forecasts. Let’s dive into the details, and find out what makes these three stocks so valuable. 

Procter & Gamble Company (PG

We’ll start with one of the blue-chip staples of the Dow Jones average. Procter & Gamble showed steady earnings growth through 2019, beating estimates in every quarter, before recording a sharp drop in Q1. That drop, however, needs to be put into context – the company’s calendar first quarter is historically its lowest of the year. Not to mention Q1 2020 reflected both a fifth consecutive earnings beat and a modest year-over-year gain of 4.4%, despite the economic shutdowns. 

In an odd way, the coronavirus crisis may have even helped PG – the company’s strong presence in the home & consumer health, personal care, and hygiene niches meant that demand for PG products remained strong, even as overall consumer activity declined. In the company’s Q1 earnings release (PG’s fiscal Q3), the company reported 4.2% year-over-year revenue growth. 

In addition to its solid position in the current environment, Procter & Gamble is also one of the market’s true dividend champs. The company has a 16-year history of steady dividend growth and reliable payments. The current payment is 79 cents, the company raised it by 4 cents in Q1, annualizing to $3.16 per quarter and giving a yield of 2.7%. While that is only slightly higher than the consumer goods sector average of 2.5%, Procter’s dividend is backed by that long history – and it has a payout ratio of 64%, indicating that the payment is easily sustainable with current income levels. 

Covering PG stock for Evercore ISI, Robert Ottenstein headlines his note “Better, More Resilient, Wiser.” As for forward prospects, Ottenstein writes, “We see Procter as a reliable 6-8% EPS grower, as underscored by the firm’s confidence to raise the dividend by 6% in the face of unprecedented challenges…” 

Ottenstein keeps his Buy rating on PG shares, and raises his price target from $130 to $140. This implies 21% upside potential for the stock in the coming 12 months. (To watch Ottenstein’s track record, click here

Overall, PG’s Strong Buy analyst consensus rating is based on 10 reviews, which include 9 Buys against a single Hold. Wall Street is slightly less aggressive here than Ottenstein, but the $133 average price target still suggests an upside potential of 15%. (See Procter & Gamble stock analysis on TipRanks

Linde PLC (LIN

Next up is Linde, an important player in the industrial gas industry. This is not a consumer utility; rather, Linde dominates the market for pure gasses such as oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and argon, along with compound gasses such as carbon monoxide. All have important uses in industry, especially within the medical and HVAC sectors – which have been deemed essential even during the public health crisis. Like PG above, Linde has a secure niche and product line-up despite the recessionary pressures. 

The quality of Linde’s market position is demonstrated by the quarterly performance. Where most companies registered declines or even losses, Linde reported Q1 EPS level with Q4. At $1.89, the quarterly earnings beat the forecast by 3.2%, and was the fifth quarter in a row to top the estimates. 

In another similarity to PG, Linde’s continued profitability is directly related to its strong presence in the healthcare industry. Some 20% of company revenues come from sales in the medical field (oxygen, for example, is a vital item in treating respiratory ailments), and Linde has been able to successfully absorb losses in other segments. 

With revenues secure, Linde was not shy about declaring its dividend going forward. The company announced that it will pay out 96 cents per share in Q2. That annualizes to $3.85, and gives a yield almost exactly at the S&P average: 2%. 

Michael Sison, 5-star analyst with Well Fargo, makes the simple case for LIN shares, “[We] believe this stable cash flow business and strong balance sheet make LIN an attractive story in the current uncertain environment.  We also view LIN as a growth story, with the $9.5B project backlog as the pipeline for future earnings growth.  Finally, we continue to expect the company to deliver on additional merger cost and revenue synergies once the recovery starts to take shape, likely before 2021.” 

To this end, Sison puts a $235 price target on the stock, showing his confidence in a 16% one-year upside potential. With this positive outlook, Sison rates the stock a Buy. (To watch Sison’s track record, click here

LIN is another stock with a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating. The shares have 22 reviews on record, breaking down into 17 Buys and 5 Holds. The current trading price is $202.34, and the average price target of $216 implies room for 7% growth this year. (See Linde stock analysis on TipRanks

Raytheon Technologies (RTX

Last on our list is Raytheon, a staple in the aerospace and defense industries, as well as a major contractor for the Pentagon. Raytheon’s better-known products include radars for the Air Force’s front line fighter aircraft and many of the military’s front line air-to-air and air-to-surface guided missiles.  

No one ever went broke selling weapons, and Raytheon is a good example of that old saw. The company’s $1.78 Q1 EPS was 60% higher than the estimates. Even more impressive, it was the eighth quarter in a row that RTX beat the earnings estimates. The solid EPS was derived from $18.2 billion in revenues, a figure in-line with both the estimates and the year-ago figure. 

Raytheon management declared a 47.5 cent quarterly dividend, to be paid out in June. In deference to the difficult economic times, and the possibility of reduced defense contracts as budgets contract, this dividend was a sharp decline from the 74 cents paid out in Q4. The important point for investors, however, is that Raytheon remains committed to maintaining its dividend, with the yield at 2.8%, which is above the industrial goods sector average of 2%. 

In his note on RTX for Credit Suisse, 5-star analyst Robert Spingarn states, “[We] assume that RTX defense can sustain a 2019-2022 sales CAGR of 6%+ (consistent with its record backlog), and that improving trends for defense margins, working capital, and capex can offset pension headwinds, then RTX defense likely stands to generate ~$5.3 billion of FCF in 2022…” 

This solid outlook contributes to his Buy rating and $81 price target on the stock. At current prices, this target implies a 26% potential upside to RTX. (To watch Spingarn’s track record, click here

With a share price of $64.52, and an average price target of $75.25, RTX boasts a 17% upside potential for the next 12 months. The consensus on the Street here is a Strong Buy, with 11 Buy reviews and 3 Holds. (See Raytheon stock analysis on TipRanks)